Kirkham Priory – Sunday 7th July

Six of us met at Kirkham Priory at 8am this morning and walked along the west bank of the River Derwent, returning to the car park at midday. The weather was kind to us, with light winds, some sunshine and the rain held off until after we got back to the car park.

We saw a total of 37 species, the most notable being two Kingfishers round the bridge at Kirkham Priory and a slightly distant Hobby. One of the reasons for this trip was the opportunity to compare it with a Yorkshire Naturalists Union meeting here on July 10th 1920.

Less common birds highlighted as being seen in 1920 were Green Woodpecker, Jay, Magpie, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Blackcap, Garden Warbler, Whinchat, Redstart, Bullfinch, Dipper, Kingfisher, Moorhen and Reed Bunting. We didn’t see Green Woodpecker, Magpie, Sparrowhawk, Garden Warbler, Whinchat, Redstart and Dipper.

The absence of the last three this morning wasn’t a surprise, nor perhaps was the lack of a Green Woodpecker, and, to a lesser extent, Sparrowhawk and Garden Warbler. Although we commented about it and kept looking for them, we never saw a Magpie. No Robins were seen or heard (skulking whilst they are moulting?), but the absence of any Swallows was a disappointment. There were decent numbers of House Martins and Swifts, but not a single Swallow was seen.

On the plus side, species we saw which weren’t seen in 1920 were Buzzard, Red Kite and Collared Dove. We saw at least two Great Spotted Woodpeckers and they don’t seem to have been seen in 1920, as 100 years ago they probably weren’t numerous enough to be lumped in with the common species.

My thanks to all those who attended and added to our knowledge of this under-recorded part of the Club area.

Paul Doherty